Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  The idea is to give everyone a look inside the book you’re reading.

Play along: Grab your current read; Open to a random page; Share two teaser sentences from that page; Share the title and author so that other participants know what you’re reading.

This week, my teaser comes from Chasing the Night by Iris Johansen.

“But Eve had her own life, her own priorities.  She didn’t even know if she could help Catherine.  Should she become involved in trying to—” (47)

What are you teasing us with this week?

Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil

By David Baldacci

Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Books

ISBN: 978-0-446-56408-3

3.5 stars

Evan Waller is a monster. A sadistic and ruthless killer, he cares for nothing and no one. His business practices are cold and methodical; money being his only goal. He traffics in women, children, and nuclear weapons and people in the world believe he should be brought to justice. One such person is Reggie Campion, a member of a secret vigilante group. Her group has an agenda and that is to hunt down Waller, show him his deeds, and bring justice. She intends to kill him. Unfortunately, she is not the only person hunting Waller. Shaw, a mysterious operative from an unknown government agency, is also out for Waller. When Waller, Reggie, and Shaw all end up in Provence, the hunt begins.

There is one thing I need to say right off the start with this book — Waller is a great bad guy. He’s cruel, disgusting, scary, cold, calculating, and just so good at being bad that you honestly want him to be dead. And you don’t want his death to be a pleasant or easy one, the guy should suffer. So when two people do try to kill him, you find yourself cheering them on. OK, so I was a bit disturbed by the fact that I was cheering on two characters to take the life of a third but he was that bad!

While it’s an engrossing and fast read, there are a few corny lines and some “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” moments in this book. And it’s a, “I’ve got your back do you have mine?” line that is the culprit I’m hinting about here. Some of the dialog felt odd, old, and a bit bumbling, but this didn’t ruin it. While those hokey lines take you out of the story for a breather, there is enough to pull you back in quickly. This is a story about people out to murder a murderer, and there are a few torture scenes that I could have gone without reading, but they did fit so I can’t say they were too much.

The ending, I feel I must address it. No, don’t worry, I won’t be ruining it by telling you any more than this — for me it felt predictable. I think I was expecting more from the bad guy. Up to this point in the book he had been much more creative and while it’s a fast paced ending, I felt as if it had been done before. There is one more thing that bothered me about the ending but in the spirit of not giving it all away I will say no more than it was just too easy.

Now, you will be entertained by this book, if you like thrillers like this, but once the book is done, you’ll move on to the next easily without lingering. I don’t think this is a bad thing as there are a lot of books out there that I don’t find myself thinking about after I turn the last page. It’s just a warning from me and how I felt, you might have a completely different reaction so feel free to ignore this. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy on a plane or at the beach, it’s not a bad pick.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The idea is to give everyone a look inside the book you’re reading.

Play along: Grab your current read; Open to a random page; Share two teaser sentences from that page; Share the title and author so that other participants know what you’re reading.

This week, I’m reading Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci.

“The ninety-six year old man sat in his comfy armchair enjoying a book on Joseph Stalin. No mainstream publisher would touch the delusion-filled manuscript since the author had been unfailingly complimentary about the sadistic Soviet leader.” (1)

What are you teasing us with this week?

Deliver Us From Evil

Powers

Powers

Powers

By John B. Olson

B&H Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-0-8054-4735-4

Did Not Finish

I don’t usually write reviews of books I abandoned. I don’t think it’s all that fair since I didn’t finish, but I’m going to make an exception in this case.

Powers is about a young gypsy woman named Mariutza, Mari, who lives in the swamps of Louisiana with her grandfather. She’s been training for years to find and protect the prophet. When her grandfather is killed by a cloaked man, she leaves the swamps for the first time in her life. Through a series of events, she meets Jazz, a musician who is suffering from blackouts and doesn’t believe he’s a prophet of any sort.

The story switches between Mari and Jazz. It’s not confusing but I didn’t feel like I could get a grip on either character. Mari is a very sheltered person. Her grandfather kept her hidden away in the swamps and she knows nothing about the world. There is one scene where she is totally fascinated by Sprite. Yes, the soda. It’s amusing and slightly funny at first but grows tiring incredibly fast. I stopped finding her reactions to things, like seat belts, even vaguely interesting. It was too much of a dichotomy — I felt she couldn’t be that naïve and yet be responsible for protecting the prophet that will save humanity. Jazz was, well, I couldn’t figure him out. He seemed genuine at first, then seemed to turn into some sort of conman after a treasure. I was confused by him — should I like him, hate him, or what.

However, I will say this about the book, Olson does a good job of creating tension and suspicion when the evil beings appear and his writing, overall, was good. It had a nice ring to it and it kept me reading longer than I probably would have. I just didn’t care for the characters here and I think that was my major problem with this book. If I can’t find a connection with the characters, I can’t get into the book. Sometimes it happens.

I received this book through the Early Reviewer program on LibraryThing. After I started, I realized this was a sequel to Shade, the first book. I don’t know if I would have had a different reaction if I had read the first one or not.

I won this book as part of the Early Reviewer program on Librarything.

Persuader

 

Persuader

Persuader

Persuader

By Lee Child

A Dell Book

ISBN: 9780440241003

4 stars

Jack Reacher is a man of many talents, chiefly among them seems to be rescuing others in dire circumstances. His former career as a military police officer seems to be a constant fall back — as much as he does try to distance himself from it.

Persuader opens with a shoot out on a college campus and Reacher just happens to be there to save student Richard Beck from being kidnapped. With the dramatic rescue accomplished, he worms his way into the family’s house and finds a job as a body guard.

As it turns out, Reacher isn’t really there to protect anyone but himself. He’s been sent in off the books by Susan Duffy, an agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to rescue another DEA agent who went silent. He’s also there for another more personal reason — he plans to settle an old score with a man named Quinn who is supposed to be dead.

As with all Lee Child books I have read, this one starts out at a brisk pace and keeps going. There are a lot of characters and numerous twists but he some how manages to keep it easy to follow. The suspense is high and readers stand to learn a lot about guns and other ways to kill. While it might not be an interesting point for every reader, imagining Reacher inspecting each gun he is either given or stolen is an intriguing insight into the character and his background.

There is one thing to note with Lee Child novels — you need to suspend all belief to get the most out of it. Reacher is a drifter who was downsized out of the army and spends his days hitching rides across the U.S. He carries no bags and has no family, the way he likes it. Yet, he somehow always manages to be in the right place at the right time and some government agency is always salivating to hire him for an off the books job after a peek at his service record.

This doesn’t make the books bad. It’s the exact opposite. You keep reading because you want to find out how he’s going to get out of a hostage situation, fight his way out of a locked room, and get the girl; which in almost every single book I’ve read this year (and there were seven of them) he has.

Enjoy this book for what it is — a fast paced thriller that will keep you engaged to the very end.

The Strain: Book 1 of The Strain Trilogy

 

The Stain

The Stain

The Strain: Book 1 of The Strain Trilogy

By Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

William Morrow

ISBN: 978-0-06-155823-8

4 stars

A plane lands at JFK airport and goes dark. No one can raise the pilots and no signs of life exist. The window shades are drawn and there is no movement to be seen. Unsure of what to do and concerned about a deadly infection, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is called in to investigate and asked to find the cause of what is believed to be the simultaneous deaths of all the passengers on board.

Dr. Ephraim (Eph) Goodweather heads up the CDC ‘s Canary Project, a rapid repose team setup to deal primarily with problems of this nature. He gathers his team and heads to the airport and once there finds what appears to be a plane full of dead passengers with no explainable cause of death. There are no visible injuries and the air is clean making an initial diagnosis impossible. While checking individuals for signs of any struggle or sickness, four survivors are found. Also found, a large black box full of dirt in the cargo hold that is not listed on any manifest.

Back at the hospital, Eph is not able to find anything wrong with the few survivors and the coroner is finding more than he can explain in his lab. Not knowing what they are dealing with, Eph makes an attempt to lock down the few survivors and hold bodies in the morgue but is unable. Soon after, bodies go missing from the morgue, and unbeknown to Eph and anyone else at the hospital or the CDC, the four survivors begin to evolve into something dark, sinister, and deadly.

Enter Abraham Setrakian — vampire hunter. His first attempts to plead his case to Eph fail but eventually his is able to convince him with an interesting show and tell display with a one of a kind specimen. With help from Nora, a member of Eph’s Canary team and Fet a city rat exterminator, they move to end the infestation.

Del Toro’s screen writing experience is key to this book. You see and feel exactly what he wants you to — slowly inching up the tension, keeping you in suspense wondering if the noise you heard in the hall is really just the floorboards creaking or something unholy making its way to you. His take on the vampire follows some of the old traditions but he adds enough to make it feel fresh and exciting. If you prefer a vampire story that holds true to the Dracula mythology than this book may not hold your interest but it’s worth the read to experience his take on the vampire mystique.

The first 50 or so pages of the book are intriguing. He holds back a lot, playing only a few cards and slowly building the story. While he does keep the pages turning, the story slows a bit in the middle and feels like too much of a re-telling of each new vampire being born. He quickens the pace at the end and leaves readers creeped out and anxiously waiting the next installment and probably sleeping with the lights on.

As a final note, I loaned this book to two people who both told me it qualifies for read only in daytime status — least they worry someone bite them in the night.